IT projects – win, worry or woe is me?
We’re all familiar with dismal rates of success in IT projects and change initiatives. The Project Portfolio is far too often filled with lots of WOE, too few WINS and a lifecycle of WORRY. Must it be so difficult?
In some recent reading I stumbled across one of those models that remind us that our IT change work can be simple but not easy. The DICE Framework* is a model for evaluating the likely success of a project or change based on simple, objective measures. Developed by former partners at the Boston Consulting Group, DICE can help us to evaluate change and avoid the woe and worry before we’re too deeply invested.
DICE is an acronym for what it considers the key components of a project:
- Duration – how long will this go on (and/or in what increments)?
- Integrity – do the project manager and team members have “what it takes”?
- Commitment – are management and stakeholders supportive in words and action?
- Effort – how much additional effort will this require?
Based on responses to the above questions, the DICE Framework generates a mathematical score and interpretation of the project’s likelihood for success. Positive scores signify a “WIN Zone” opportunity, neutral scores are placed in a “WORRY Zone”, and negative scores point towards doom in the “WOE Zone” (insert ominous music here).
Good stuff – smart questions and an objective formula help to analyze our change initiatives. And the simple but not easy part? We’re reminded that:
Long projects are hard – So take it in increments and build in frequent feedback loops.
Low skills = high hinder – So involve good skills and better learning into the change.
Especially management must show willingness to invest through action – So get in or get out!
We’ve all got tons to do, rousing effort beyond day-to-day is not easy – So again, work in increments and celebrate each succesful step.
Simple to use
Again, the DICE formula is quite simple and can even be calculated by me (you too should do just fine). What’s more important then is USING IT.
Why not avoid the WOE zone by analyzing our projects early and often with this framework?
Why not limit our time on the WORRY zone by identifying the weaknesses that put us there?
Why not WIN with smart portfolio assessment and prioritization based on DICE?
To learn more, use a search engine, Wikipedia or be in touch!
Origins of DICE
DICE has been published in the Harvard Business Review and is recognized in their “10 Must Reads on Change Management”. It was developed by Perry Keenan, Kathleen Conlon, and Alan Jackson.